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Olean police soon will be setting traps to catch vehicles causing excessive noise in much the same way they snag motorists in speed traps.

Mayor James Griffin told aldermen meeting in a committee session Tuesday night that police researched the state traffic code for a way to address residents' complaints about loud car stereos.

He said the code requires noise over a certain level be measured with a decibel meter, a piece of equipment that costs "a couple of hundred dollars" and requires no training to use.

Until now, complaining aldermen and citizens were advised by city officials that a noise ordinance would be ineffective against vehicles, and violations would best be handled by filing charges of disorderly conduct.

Griffin said patrolmen will begin immediately to enforce the traffic code on public rights of way by setting up the decibel monitor at problem locations.

He asked residents to refrain from calling police unless the noise problem is repeated at a specific location, to give law enforcement officers time to set up the monitor.

In another committee matter, Council President Paula Snyder directed Aldermen John Padlo and Gary "Casey" Jones and Alderwoman Kathy Searles to find ways the city can improve service on a St. Bonaventure University bus route.

The three are to meet with university officials and report within one month on possible routing improvements and the location of bus stops.

In a formal session later, the Council unanimously approved a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew along the city's section of the Allegheny River Valley Trail, except for a short, well-lit stretch on Constitution Avenue.

The Town of Allegany will not enact the curfew on its portion of the trail, but St. Bonaventure University reportedly plans to establish a curfew.

A separate set of trail maintenance guidelines for volunteers and groups has been drafted by the Intermunicipal Recreation Trail Committee and will be considered by the Council for action at a later date.

Also approved was an increase in civil service test fees from $5 to $10, effective in 30 days. Padlo cast the lone "no" vote and explained he feels the hike is excessive when compared to the lesser amounts being charged by other governments in the county.

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